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After Susan got inside the shelter and met with an intake counselor, she was shown to her room. They weren’t all full, so she had a room to herself. Not sure if that was good or bad though because she spent the majority of the first couple days alone, crying and verging on depression.
The worst part of it all was not having her children there with her. On the second day there, she called the police and asked if they would escort her to go retrieve her children. When she heard the answer to her request, she burst out into uncontrollable tears.
The current state law, as explained to her, was that the parent who was in possession of the children was the custodial parent until a judge ruled on it. Therefore, the police said that they could not go with her to enforce removal of the children from their father without a court order.
Susan walked around in a fog for the next 24 hours and then she got angry. She spoke to the legal liaison for the shelter about the situation. After a lengthy conversation on the matter, the woman informed her that, since it was a common law marriage, which weren’t legally recognized in their state, and Jason had never established paternity for the children, he had no rights to them. Susan was the sole custodial parent in the courts eyes and if he refused to give them to her, he could technically be charged with kidnapping.
Susan was ecstatic! She immediately called the police station and asked to speak with one of the officers that she’d previously spoken with. After explaining the circumstances and legalities to him, he told her that he needed to speak with his Commander and would call her right back.
So she waited by the phone in the office of the shelter. Fifteen minutes turned into twenty, and then thirty. Her stomach was churning. “What could be taking him so long?”, she asked herself.
The counselor on duty at the time did her best to keep her calm. After forty minutes had passed, she told Susan, “A police cruiser just pulled up outside. That must be him to get you, they didn’t radio in a drop off.”
Susan quickly walked to the entrance door and waited for her to buzz the locks. Once she heard the click and was given the okay, she opened the door and got the biggest shock and surprise of her life.
The police officer was holding her youngest child in his arms with the other two in tow. “You went and got them for me?!” she exclaimed through her tears. The children were all screaming at once, “Mommy, mommy!! We rode in the police car!” They were instantly kissing and hugging, amid the tears.
Susan stood back up and looked at the officer saying, “I can’t tell you how grateful I am for you doing this. You are an angel! Thank you so very much!”
He expressed his concerns over taking her there to get them and what it might instigate. Therefore, he had decided that it might go over better if he went by himself. He stated that Jason was quite irritated but didn’t give him too much problem after that.
The kids had been fed and bathed already. So there was nothing left to do in preparation for bedtime. That left them with plenty time for hugs, kisses and snuggling…
Teresa Marie 1/28/12 ©